I’ve been completing media analysis for clients across the Asia Pacific region for over ten years. I still think it’s the best job in the world! Recently, I’ve been reflecting on what we do and how we do media analysis and so here are some practical tips for agencies or businesses that are starting out with media measurement as an insider’s guide to insights.
1. Start small
Think dipping your toe into the analysis waters, rather than taking a deep plunge. It can be very beneficial to start small and build. This approach allows you to test the scope of the project, build trust with your analysts and tweak your research design along the way. A specific campaign or event is the ideal way to test the waters. It also offers you the opportunity to take feedback from your key stakeholders and fold these insights in to the shape of future projects.
2. Say ‘no’ to jargon
The measurement and evaluation industry has its fair share of acronyms, algorithms and metrics. It doesn’t have to be this way. Right from the first meeting, you should only speak in terms that are understood by your business. Value will come from insights and the interpretation of trends that affect you, not in being able to understand complicated ratings systems. Make sure your third-party team speak your language.
3. Measure what matters
The price of reporting is often determined by the volume of media coverage that is analysed. Although this isn’t always the case, it can be a significant factor in the level of investment required. For this reason, it is critical that your insights and analysis includes only the content that matters to you. Sampling methods and filtering are pivotal to getting quality outcomes and keeping to budget.
Another important element is to only measure media coverage that aligns with your media strategy. Although this sounds simplistic, often our clients focus on including every possible mention of their brand (quantity) rather than mentions in their priority media outlets (quality). A sharp focus will not only save you time and money, it will often deliver more targeted and tangible insight.
4. Ensure the reporting suits the culture of your organisation
If the style of reporting you receive doesn’t suit the culture of your business, it is much harder to introduce measurement to the organisation and to build a strong internal audience. We find that most clients need multiple versions of the same report in order to meet the specific needs of different business units. For example, one-page dashboards work well for executive teams and the Board level; however, they rarely provide enough detail for communications professionals. It’s is important to recognise the unique needs of your internal stakeholders and communicate these to your insights provider, so that you’re distributing relevant insights and reporting.
5. Request a presentation
If you are using a media analysis and insights company, it can be beneficial to request a face-to-face presentation by your analyst. We often find that this is the most valuable part of the process for our clients. It can really help you to save time, and to deliver key insights to different units within your organisation. This also provides you with the opportunity to ask questions, and hone in on the findings and how to use them. As a general rule, analysts tend to be cautious about the conclusions and recommendations they write in their reports. A face-to-face presentation or round table can often tease out more detail around key findings and recommendations.